Category you compete in: Physique
Date of birth: 10/5/68
Hometown: Denton, Texas
Career: Personal trainer
2009 Central Texas Showdown, 3rd Open and Masters Figure
2009 Lackland Classic, 6th Masters Figure, 8th Masters Bikini
2010 Lone Star Classic, 4th Masters Figure
2010 Central Texas Showdown, 4th Open and Masters Figure
2011 Oklahoma State Championship, 3rd Masters Figure
2012 West Texas Classic, 2nd Masters Figure
2012 Central Texas Showdown, 1st Masters Physique, 2nd Open Physique
2012 Oklahoma Grand Prix, 3rd Masters Physique, 4th Over 40 Figure
2013 Arnold Amateur, 5th Masters Figure
2013 North American Championships, 4th Over 35 Figure
2014 Masters Nationals, 4th Over 45 Figure
2014 North American Championships, 3rd Over 35 Physique (earned Pro Card), 5th Over 45 Physique
Next competition: 2015 Pittsburgh Pro
In your opinion, how important is motivation and confidence when aiming to accomplish a goal?
I struggled with confidence when I first started competing. My trainer told me I didn't have the genetics for bodybuilding and I should have been a volleyball player. That increased my motivation. However, it decreased my confidence. Initially, I always felt like I didn't belong on stage with the other girls. I knew I had worked as hard or even harder to put muscle on my lanky frame, but I always felt small and unsure I should be there. It wasn't until I got my first win in Masters Physique and earned an invitation to the Arnold Amateur that things began to change. I went on that stage, as always, hoping not to be the smallest and not to place last. When I took 5th, my confidence was completely boosted. I looked at the pictures of the other girls and thought, "Wow, I finally belong." Some were bigger, some were tighter, and most had smaller waists. But, I did not look out of place. A year and a half later, I had my pro card. So, until I had both, I couldn't accomplish my goal.
In your eyes, what combination of hard work and natural ability is needed to reach the top?
As someone without "natural ability", I do believe that I had to work much harder. I have to lift heavier, eat more and it took me a lot longer to reach the "top." I've been beaten by girls who had started lifting weights only a few months before, but they had that beautiful symmetry with a tiny waist. I am constantly working to overcome my blockiness and proportionally small legs. I realize girls with the genetic ability to build muscle more easily than I do have to work harder than me in other aspects. Their diets are more brutal and they have to do a lot more cardio. I get lots of cheat meals and never have my carbs drastically cut. I don't spend hours and hours doing cardio. But the girl born with the tiny waist is probably always going to beat me.
What are some motivational strategies that have or currently work for you?
My motivation initially was to look like the girls in Oxygen. I always admired Francisca Dennis because, from the pictures, it looked as if we had similar body types. I would cut out pictures of girls that I wanted to look like and tape them above my computer. I had a picture of Evangeline Lily's (from the TV show "Lost") arms above my desk forever. One day, I realized my arms were better and took it down. Then, as I progressed in competitions, I motivated myself by imagining what it would feel like to win, what it would feel like to be on a National stage, what it would feel like to turn pro and prove all the naysayers wrong. I was motivated by reaching that unattainable, impossible goal. I wanted to do what I was told I never could.
Give me some examples from your life where confidence has helped you to achieve?
Surprisingly, I have always been pretty confident in every other aspect of my life. I worked in President George W. Bush's Administration as an appointee. I was the Director of Economic Development for a large Texas county. I have been a very successful personal trainer and life coach. I believe being confident in my knowledge, abilities and interpersonal skills helped me be successful. But until I attained the same level of confidence in my competing and exuded that through my stage presence, I did not have the same level of success.
What do you find the most challenging about competing?
The most challenging part of competing is definitely the fact that just because you work harder doesn't mean you will be successful. Dieting gets easier over time. I can deal with the cardio. I know there are "politics," but not as much as people want to blame for their placing. But it has always been hard for me to accept girls beating me or achieving more success who didn't work as hard.
What are your top 5 key strategies for success?
1. Never give up. Look at my competition history. I NEVER gave up.
2. Don't listen to the naysayers and detractors. They are only a distraction.
3. Work hard. Even if you're outworking people who beat you, you will eventually be rewarded.
4. Stay focused but don't lose sight of the thing more important than competing - your family. Their support will be a difference maker.
5. Set goals and imagine yourself achieving them. See yourself winning that show or earning that pro card.
What is your favorite Inspirational Quote?
Do. Or do not. There is no try. Yoda
When I was a long distance runner, one of my running friends would say this when I was struggling up a hill or hitting a wall after 10-12 miles. There's no better advice than to quit trying and just do.
In closing, Who would you like to give a shout out to?
My No. 1 shout out goes to my husband, Chip. He is my biggest fan, preps my food, puts up with my crazy, does cardio every time I have to, tells me the truth about where I need to be leaner or bigger, learns my posing routine so he can help me perfect it, and always had faith that I would succeed (even when I didn't).
A huge shout out to my coach, Joseph Cortez. We have been together a year and the changes he has made to my physique have been phenomenal. He listens to me about when my old lady body has parts that are breaking and works around them. He watches my body and sees that I need more food. I can expect to hear from him every day during prep to check on me. And, like my husband, he has faith in me.
Finally, to my long-time posing coach, IFBB Pro Sheilahe Brown. She started posing with me before my second show and I was terrible. Over the years, she has boosted my confidence, drastically improved my posing and made me want to make her proud every time I step on stage. She predicted I would get my pro card at North Americans. So, again, she had faith in me.